When deciding whether to agree to arbitration in your next automation contract, keep in mind the following differences between resolving disputes via the traditional litigation process versus arbitration:

  • Arbitration can be cheaper and faster. The general rule is that arbitration is a faster and more streamlined process, making it cheaper than the typical litigation process in most, but not all, cases.
  • Possibility of knowledgeable arbitrator. Because of the way an arbitrator is chosen, the parties can agree to an arbitrator who has specialized knowledge, which can be an advantage when technical issues are involved.
  • Very limited appeal rights in arbitration. The parties generally have to abide by an arbitrator's decision, even if it is wrong. Cases that are litigated can be appealed and reversed.
  • Limited consolidation in arbitration. In a typical court case, all parties who may be involved in or contributed to a dispute can be compelled to join one lawsuit. In arbitration, parties cannot be made to join in someone else's arbitration process unless they agree.
  • No jury in arbitration. There is no right to a jury trial in arbitration. Instead, disputes decided in arbitration will often be decided by one arbitrator